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Icelandic upstarts dumped from FIFA 17 video game

Soccer

The Iceland team that grabbed headlines at Euro 2016 has been left out of Electronic Arts’s highly-anticipated FIFA 17 video game due to a dispute over image rights.

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The Football Association of Iceland say it was approached by EA after the team’s successful run at the European Championship, but it turned down the company’s offer of $US15,000 ($A19,674) to use its image rights in the hugely popular game, which comes out annually and features club and international teams.

Icelandic FA president Geir Thorteinsson said EA, which has yet to respond to a request for comment, declined to negotiate and the game will be released without the Icelandic team.

Thorsteinsson said that while he says he understood their position, he was disappointed with how the company had behaved.

“They were under pressure and maybe they would need more time to discuss these things,” he told Reuters.

“But it’s about fair and open negotiations, about respect and how you deal with us.

“I feel very badly treated by this hugely profitable company.”

The decision by the FA to reject the offer has in turn upset the Icelandic players that wowed the sporting world at Euro 2016 this summer.

The team, representing a nation of just 330,000 inhabitants, knocked out England before they were eventually beaten by hosts France in the quarter-finals of their first major tournament.

Many of the players will be in the game anyway with their club sides, but players feel it would have been good for Icelandic football to have the international side in there too.

Icelandic fans have also contacted the country’s FA to express their disappointment.

“I know that the gamers are unhappy about it,” Thorstenisson said.

“But I see it (being in the game) as a business opportunity, but I always say that the best marketing opportunity for us is to do well on the pitch and deliver good results.”

-Reuters

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